A former senior Pentagon intelligence analyst was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in Alexandria on charges he sold secret Defense Department data to Libya through convicted arms dealer and ex-CIA agent Edwin P. Wilson.
The seven-count indictment alleged that Wilson paid the analyst, Waldo H. Dubberstein, 75, of Alexandria, more than $32,000 from 1977 through 1980 for written summaries and analyses of Mideast security arrangements and military strength based on sensitive Defense documents.
The charges against Dubberstein are the first formal allegation that Wilson's influence on behalf of radical Libyan ruler Muammar Qaddafi reached into the heart of the U.S. intelligence community.
Dubberstein left the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) last year, where he had been permitted to work past normal retirement age because of his expertise in Middle East affairs.
Dubberstein was in charge of a Defense intelligence summary "based on the most sensitive intelligence reporting" at the time of the alleged offenses, the indictment said.
Dubberstein, an expert in Middle East affairs, is scheduled to be arraigned today before U.S. District Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr. Dubberstein was charged in the indictment yesterday with a single count of conspiracy, one count of making a false statement about his travels abroad, three counts of unauthorized disclosure of classified material, one count of bribery and one illegal gratuity count. If convicted, he faces up to 57 years in prison and $80,000 in fines.
One of Dubberstein's defense lawyers, Howard Bushman of Arlington, said yesterday that Dubberstein will plead innocent to the charges. "Through the best efforts of myself and cocounsel Louis Koutoulakos, we hope he'll be vindicated," Bushman said.
Wilson, 54, is serving a total of 32 years in prison for recent convictions on arms and explosives smuggling growing out of his Libyan dealings between 1976 and 1982. He has been acquitted of murder conspiracy charges in federal court in Washington.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore S. Greenberg, who supervised investigation of the case by the Alexandria grand jury, yesterday refused to say which countries in the Mideast had been the subject of the information allegedly passed by Dubberstein to Wilson. The indictment identified Dubberstein, however, as an expert on Egypt and Libya. A brief border clash broke out between Libya and Egypt in July 1977 and the two countries were often close to hostilities during the period covered by the indictment.
The grand jury charged that Dubberstein, traveling under an alias, met in the spring of 1978 with Libyan intelligence officers in Tripoli to discuss the deployment of Mideast military forces without informing his superiors at the Defense Intelligence Agency as required by law. He also allegedly furnished the Libyans several written assessments of Mideast military preparedness drawn from classified Defense papers, the grand jury indictment said.
The secret papers included the "DIA Monthly Estimated Inventory of Selected Armaments and Forces in the Middle East" and a "Middle East Military Capabilities Study," also known as "The Arab-Israeli Military Balance," the indictment said.
Prosecutor Greenberg said that Dubberstein's trial would be conducted under the Classified Information Procedures Act, which calls for pretrial scrutiny by a federal judge behind closed doors of any national security material.
Dubberstein, a career intelligence analyst, had clearance for access to top secret Defense department material, secrets about nuclear weapons design, and the Single Integrated Operations Plan (SIOP) -- closely guarded U.S. war plans -- according to the indictment. As such, he was subject to Defense Department restrictions and reporting requirements regarding foreign travel and contact with foreign nationals, prosecutors said.
Dubberstein allegedly first met with Wilson in 1977 and soon began sending intelligence reports to the Libyans through a former Wilson employe, Douglas M. Schlachter, the indictment said. Schlachter has since pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to exporting goods to Libya without a license and is now in prison.
The indictment charged Dubberstein received several cash payments from Schlachter that year during meetings at the Washington Hilton, the Key Bridge Marriott and other area locations. In early 1978, he also allegedly received a $1,000 payment at the Hilton from Roberta Barnes, another Wilson employe. Barnes is cooperating with the prosecution in its investigation.
The grand jury alleged Schlachter paid Dubberstein another $6,000 in Tripoli, where Dubberstein, using a false name, had traveled without having to pass through Libyan customs. After the Libyan trip, Dubberstein allegedly met Wilson again in Europe and was given the final $25,000.